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Our Story "Born out of wool... "


Miss Lena Malmström was born 15.07.1934 in Turku. Her family moved to Helsinki when she was only two years of age.

Her father was a textile engineer and worked for the United wool factories of Helsinki and Hyvinkää.

As a young lady she became very familiar with the wool factory. She knew every corner of it and had her first jobs there.

One day she found herself being totally, almost hypnotized by the different woolen balls of vibrant colors. Her creative senses were awoken.

She thought to herself that she will make her own designs some day. There and then she decided that she wanted to study textile design.

She was admitted as an art graduate to Atheneum Art school and chose textile design as her master’s program.

She was very much to emphasize the artistic side in the profession and the strategic thinking.

During her studies she had already started to create her own woolen designs which were to become an item even before she graduated.

The early works reflect the cultural traditions and the age of innocence. However, her own identity was already recognizable.

Creating the DNA of designs

It is not so much about inspiration as it is about being a part of the bigger picture, nature. Lena’ s focus became more graphic, her visions poetic. The Archipelago, the lake district of Sääksmäki and Lappland. The petals of flowers and fruits with their juicy colors, they all inspired her.

The fact of course remains that she is a child of a textile family. She had inherited it in her mother’s milk and was given the best advice by her father. Needless to say, her designs are entirely her own. 

Also, Miss Malmström had traveled to France to learn the language, the culture and visiting the Fashion Houses. This took place before the actual studying. Also, it is maybe good to remember that she has quite a cosmopolitan background.

In 1960 she graduated and pretty much soon after that married the judge Erkki Rewell. In 1961 she established her own business Lena Rewell Textilestudio.

The young textile artist had her own small weaving mill at the basement of the house. With added space acquired she sold her lovely mohair blankets that were to become her signature design both locally and internationally.

She made a extraordinary clothing collection, too and all the material were made out of her own weaved wool. The shop became literally a tourist attraction in Helsinki. And the beauty of it all is that she had also became the mother of three children in the process of her evolving profession as the textile designer.

Yes, she had become an international item and received many awards for her designs from e.g. Italy and the United States. She moved towards her dream and it worked for her. She followed her instincts.

Next generation continues the work

In 2017 there was a generational change and Lena Rewell´s daughter Dita Eklund continued the work.

The Designer Lena Rewell - Gripenberg continues to be involved in artistic and more relaxed realm of the world that she knows so well, but without the everyday pressure of demanding business that fits better the younger generation.

Finally she can be the artist she always rather wanted to be.

New spirit — old soul